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Archive for September, 2012

Incendiary performances highlight BET Hip Hop Awards

While the late-breaking news at the BET Hip Hop Awards had nothing to do with the show itself — that would be the apparent skirmish between Rick Ross and Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy – there were plenty of notable moments worth discussing before the incident hijacked headlines.

The performance-heavy show, which was taped at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center and will air Oct. 9 on BET, launched with a bang from Wiz Khalifa, who was joined by Young Jeezy for “Work Hard, Play Hard.” Though it sounded tight the first time around, producers made the acts run through it again, one of the few major stalls of the taping. Although during the time it took to re-set the stage, the late-arriving Omarion was able to hustle to his seat, prompting the girls in the balcony to shower him with ear-piercing screams once he was noticed.

Here are some other things to look out for (including some winners, so if you don’t want to know, stop reading now!).

– Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz, up for …

Continue reading Incendiary performances highlight BET Hip Hop Awards »

Rick Ross and Young Jeezy fight backstage at BET Hip Hop Awards

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Young Jeezy at a Hawks game last year.

(Updated Sunday at 1 p.m.)

At some point toward the end of the BET Hip-Hop Awards Saturday night, rap kingpin Rick Ross and Atlanta MC Young Jeezy allegedly got into a confrontation backstage that continued into the parking lot.

No one was injured and no arrests were made.

Though most fans gathered in the Atlanta Civic Center for the taping of the show were unaware of any unsettling events, those trying to leave the building found it on temporary lockdown while the situation unfolded.

Rapper Funkmaster Flex claimed to have a prime view of the skirmish and quickly took to Twitter to spread the news.

“Jeezy and Rick Ross just had words backstage!! Pushing and shoving!!” he tweeted, then two minutes later added, “Beef just spread to the parking lot!!”

Atlanta police said in a statement that no shots were fired and no arrests made as individuals fled the scene. Officers broke up the fight and used OC spray in the process.

Both Jeezy and Ross …

Continue reading Rick Ross and Young Jeezy fight backstage at BET Hip Hop Awards »

Rain causes slight hitch on Day 2 of CounterPoint Festival

Some scenes from Friday’s CounterPoint Festival.

Not even the sweeping storm that plowed through the CounterPoint site Friday afternoon could unplug the electronic dance music festival.

The rural locale in Fairburn was evacuated for about 45 minutes when festival staff and Fulton County Police determined that weather conditions were too dangerous to remain on site.

While precautions are always welcome and necessary, it also meant that hundreds of cars streamed onto the property simultaneously once it was deemed safe to return, resulting in an hour-long wait to enter the day parking area, which was basically a marsh by then.

Theophilus London, Lance Herbstrong, and Street Lurkin were forced to cancel their sets. Later, M83 withdrew from about an hour before their performance because of equipment malfunctions caused by the thunderstorm.

Though the French band was a main draw at the festival, fans weren’t left listening to crickets; Theophilus London filled their slot.

Slug, from Minneapolis' Atmosphere. Photos: Melissa Ruggieri

Slug, …

Continue reading Rain causes slight hitch on Day 2 of CounterPoint Festival »

Friday Riffs: What’s your favorite song for fall?

Being that it’s 87 degrees outside, it doesn’t necessarily feel like fall.

But the calendar tells us differently, so let’s go with it.

Although fall is my favorite season, I’m more of a winter-song fan myself (how many more weeks before Dream Academy’s “Life in a Northern Town” and Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Old Lang Syne” sound appropriate?), so my fall faves tend to be associated with memories, like Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer” – which always struck me as a more wistful, leaves-turning song rather than anything to do with summer – and Thompson Twins’ “King for a Day,” both of which remind me of strolling the cement-wall halls of my Catholic grade school in Fort Lauderdale.

The most meaningful fall song to me, though, is The Byrds’ “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season),” which perfectly summarizes our daily opportunities for reinvention and to right wrongs.

My husband chimed in for this week’s topic to name The Mamas & The Papas’ “California Dreamin’” and Guns ‘N …

Continue reading Friday Riffs: What’s your favorite song for fall? »

CounterPoint festival launches in south Atlanta

Welcome to CounterPoint. Photos: Melissa Ruggieri

Welcome to CounterPoint. Photos: Melissa Ruggieri

Daniel Sydney and Ashley Francis left Orlando at 2 a.m. Thursday to make the eight-hour drive to Atlanta.

The pair was so excited about attending CounterPoint, for which they bought tickets in early summer, shortly after Francis returned from Bonnaroo, that they wanted to make sure they got to town in plenty of time to get to the three-day EDM festival on a 350-acre piece of land about 20 miles south of downtown Atlanta.

Ashley Francis and Daniel Sydney came to Atlanta from Orlando for the fest.

Ashley Francis and Daniel Sydney came to Atlanta from Orlando for the fest.

Francis, decked out in an Indian headdress that someone gave her at a Sleigh Bells concert last year (which she planned to pass along to someone else at CounterPoint), said the fact that CounterPoint was new and probably smaller than Ultra Music Festival in Miami appealed to her.

Added Sydney, “They have a good mix of music with some indie electronica and rappers. It’s like an Ultra Bonnaroo.”

The pair, who are most interested in seeing …

Continue reading CounterPoint festival launches in south Atlanta »

Peter Conlon recaps Music Midtown

The crowd at Saturday's Music Midtown. Photo: Courtesy of Music Midtown

The crowd at Saturday's Music Midtown. Photo: Courtesy of Music Midtown

Five days after Music Midtown and Peter Conlon is still exhausted.

Who can blame him, considering the double-size scope of this year’s event?

Overall, he said he thought the festival went “very well. There are a few things – there always are – that you learn from every event. I watched everything and will make changes next year to reflect that, but it seemed people were having a good time. I’m pleased.”

Though Conlon, the president of Live Nation Atlanta, which produced the event, was reluctant to cite specific crowd numbers, he did say that Friday’s show with the Foo Fighters headlining was about the same size as last year’s main day with Coldplay (about 38,000) and that he made the call to halt ticket sales Saturday afternoon before capacity bordered on uncomfortable.

It’s a safe estimate that more than 50,000 people filled Piedmont Park on Saturday by the time headliners Pearl Jam took the stage.

(For …

Continue reading Peter Conlon recaps Music Midtown »

Usher among artists to pay tribute to Whitney Houston

Houston at the 2011 pre-Grammy party for Clive Davis. Photo: AP

Houston at the 2011 pre-Grammy party for Clive Davis. Photo: AP

Usher, Jennifer Hudson and Celine Dion are among the performers who will pay tribute to Whitney Houston in a special celebration of the deceased singer.

“We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute to Whitney Houston” will take place Oct. 11 at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live in Los Angeles and air on CBS at 10 p.m. Nov. 16.

The one-hour special will memorialize Houston with performances from and interviews with her peers and also include clips from her own canon of performances.

The concert is open to the general public. Tickets are $25-$50 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene

Continue reading Usher among artists to pay tribute to Whitney Houston »

Concerts: Alabama Shakes, Fiona Apple, David Byrne, Animal Collective

80840002Catch Alabama Shakes at Masquerade Music Park Saturday, Sept. 29. Photo: Autumn de Wilde

FRIDAY
The King’s Men

Several of the biggest names in gospel music come together for a month-long tour that brings them to Chastain this weekend. The show includes solo spots from Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, Donnie McClurkin and Israel Houghton, but they’ve also been doing duets, trios and, according to a review in the Los Angeles Times, “at the end, an exuberant all-hands jam.”
8 p.m. Sept. 28. $55-$65; $35 lawn. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive N.W., Atlanta. 404-733-5012.

FRIDAY-SATURDAY
CounterPoint Music and Arts Festival

This festival, which takes place on a 350-acre farm south of Atlanta, brings together some of the biggest names in electronic and dance music, along with a sprinkling of hip-hop. The farm was also the site of 2007’s Echo Project, which wasn’t as narrowly focused as CounterPoint. Among the extensive list of artists appearing at this new festival are Big …

Continue reading Concerts: Alabama Shakes, Fiona Apple, David Byrne, Animal Collective »

Led Zeppelin concert film to screen in Atlanta theaters

 

[I'm on with my rock 'n' roll pal Kaedy Kiely at 97.1 The River every Wednesday at 6:50 and 7:50 a.m. to talk about the latest rock news. Tune in to see what's up!]

Led Zeppelin fans have plenty to celebrate in the next few months with the November release of “Celebration Day,” a live CD-DVD of the band’s concert at London’s O2 Arena in 2007.

But first, the concert film gets a nationwide bow on Oct. 17-18. “Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day” will be shown at 7:30 p.m. both evenings at Discover Mills 18 in Lawrenceville and Hollywood 24 in Atlanta.

Tickets are on sale now at www.fathomevents.com for $15.

The recorded version of the show will be available Nov. 19 in multiple formats – standard 1 DVD/2 CD, vinyl, digital, music-only Blu-ray audio – and include songs “Ramble On,” Black Dog,” “Dazed and Confused,” “Misty Mountain Hop” and a little rock tune called “Stairway to Heaven.”

The band has also been selected as a recipient of the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors. Jimmy Page …

Continue reading Led Zeppelin concert film to screen in Atlanta theaters »

George Strait announces retirement from touring

Strait performed in Gwinnett earlier this year. Photo: Robb D. Cohen/www.robbsphotos.com

Strait performed in Gwinnett earlier this year. Photo: Robb D. Cohen/www.robbsphotos.com

George Strait has announced he’ll soon retire from the road. Not retire from music, mind you, just the live stuff.

The country music legend held a press conference in Nashville on Wednesday to announce his decision and said he will play his committed dates and then say goodbye to touring.

Strait, 60, whose last local appearance was at Gwinnett Arena in February, currently has concerts scheduled through April. His closest date is Greenville, S.C., on March 22.

The singer also noted that he plans to continue recording and that this doesn’t mean he won’t make the occasional live appearance.

Continue reading George Strait announces retirement from touring »